Castle Rock native, Colorado youth hockey grad Lane seeing game improve with USPHL’s Whalers
Liam Lane played for a multitude of youth hockey programs back home in Colorado, but has found his niche in junior hockey with the USPHL’s Hampton Roads Whalers.
A second-year goalie for the Virginia-based Whalers, Lane spent the 2022-23 season for the program’s USPHL Elite team before moving up to the USPHL Premier squad for the current season.
“I got the opportunity to skate with Hampton the season before I came for a few practices and fell in love with the area, rink, and junior lifestyle,” Lane said. “I got to experience it all for a short week, and when I got offered to play for them my first junior season, I jumped on it. I loved playing there my first junior season, and the fans, friends I made and experiences I had with Hampton made me want to come back for another season.
“The team appeals to me in many ways, with the area, rink, and my dream since I can remember – playing junior hockey. The fans that come to our home games, ask for autographs, know me around the rink make these seasons here at Hampton an experience I won’t be forgetting.”
Being away from home is nothing new for Lane, as the Castle Rock native played 18U AAA hockey for the South Shore Kings’ USPHL program in 2021-22 on the East Coast.
“This is my third season living away from home and I love everything about it,” said Lane. “I miss my parents and pets, of course, but all the memories with each of the different families I have lived with have made each season feel like a new home away from home and always will be.”
During his youth hockey days, Lane played for the Littleton Hawks, Colorado Kodiaks, Colorado Thunderbirds, Evolution Elite Hockey, Krivo School of Elite Hockey, Foothills Flyers and Rocky Mountain RoughRiders.
“I started playing hockey at RMR, where I would literally be at the rink for 12-plus hours a day and couldn’t stay away,” said Lane. “The Avalanche definitely played a role with starting my hockey career as my parents were Avs fans and why they started me skating. I played for a ton of teams in Colorado growing up and a ton of the coaches from those teams stand out to me and made a huge difference in my hockey career so far, but the most memorable ones to me were Dave Fromm, who was a really good friend to my parents and one of my biggest mentors, and Ken Klee, who gave me one of my favorite seasons I have played with how he taught me how a team should be. Many other coaches were huge in helping me become both the player and person I am today, but it would take a memoir to write all of them down.
“With all the time I spent playing in Colorado, what I will remember as my favorite experience is winning the Quebec Qualifier with the Flyers as the underdogs, and getting to go on the ice for the anthem and meet some of the players at the Avalanche game.”
Going forward, Lane has reachable goals in mind.
“My short-term goal for hockey right now is to try to make a Tier II team,” Lane said. “A long-term goal I have is to make an NCAA team for college.”
Photo/Allyson MacLeod/Hampton Roads Whalers Media
— Matt Mackinder
(October 22, 2023)